Blogworld Recap

Vegas Blogworld Day 1 059 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!.jpgI’m back from Las Vegas toting the usual sore throat from the dry air and ciggy smoke, and a Best Podcast award for TWiT from the Weblog Awards. Thanks for all your votes! (And thanks to Tris Hussey for taking all the pictures here.)
Despite my fears the speech went well. For some reason this particular talk really worried me. Fortunately, all that flop sweat pushed me to do more than my usual amount of reading and preparation and I had enough information in my head to wing it. I debated whether to create a Keynote presentation, but with pros like Craig Syverson in the audience I really feel less and less inclined to make slides. I have zero graphic ability and standards are so high these days that I generally prefer to rely on words alone.

I don’t know if there are any recordings of the speech but if I can track one down I’ll post it here. I should have recorded it myself – sorry! I don’t have anything to share except my bibliography.

Yochai Benkler’s Wealth of Networks is a deep book about the “networked information economy.” It’s published by the Yale University Press, but you can also download all 575 pages online. One key quote from Benkler:

Attention in the networked environment is more dependent on being interesting to an engaged group of people than it is in the mass-media environment, where moderate interest to large numbers of weakly engaged viewers is preferable.

For the science of network topologies I relied on Albert-Laszlo Barabasi’s fascinating Linked. His insights into how networks form are very useful in understanding how attention flows on the net.

I also drew from a number of inspiring essays on ChangeThis. In particular Dean Brenner’s To Inform or To Persuade?, Mark Penn and E. Kinney Zalesne’s Just 1%: The Power of Microtrends, and Scott Schwertly’s Presentation Revolution: Changing the Way the World Does Presentations. ChangeThis is a remarkable site full of stimulating ideas. Highly recommended.

And thanks to Douglas Volk for this quote (which I paraphrased):

What’s fun and vital about the blogosphere is not that it doesn’t speak with the questionably unified (“smothered”?) voice of mass culture, but that individual bloggers only need to speak for themselves and about their own personal interests, and don’t need to triangulate themselves against any distinct or nebulous center; it doesn’t matter who’s paying attention and who isn’t, even when lots of people are paying attention! Each blogger is a gravitational center, great or small, but there’s no sun they’re all orbiting around.

Thanks to everyone who attended the talk – it was a full house despite the hour. You were a great audience. Bloggers, Vloggers, or Podcasters, we are all transforming media for the better.

Leo and Justine's panelFinally, a note on the kerfuffle over my session right after my talk. The session was billed as “The Cult of Blogging” and was supposed to feature A-list bloggers Om Malik and Mike Arrington. Om’s back was hurt and he couldn’t make it. Mike didn’t show either but there’s some disagreement about why. You can read Mike’s story on CrunchNotes, and Rick Calvert’s explanation at the BlogWorld site.

Apparently I inadvertently ignited a tiny controversy for saying that Mike had “forgotten” his commitment. I apologize for that – but after all as the guy who did show up I had to say something and that’s what the organizers had told me. The good news is that up-and-coming A-lister Justine Ezarik filled in admirably and I think the attendees got a lot of good and useful information, even if they didn’t get to hear from Om and Mike.

16 Replies to “Blogworld Recap”

  1. Funny how we now assume everything we do in public has been capturred. My brother is a sports fan and was at an event which something happened right in front of him, so I immediately checked youtube to see if it had been posted. I know this talk will surface and I look forward to hearing it.

  2. I wouldn’t be too worried about Arrington not showing – the two times I’ve seen him talk, he has presented simply adequate content, but in a ‘Oh, the things I know!” way. He was even late for his Future of Web Apps conference (despite Om and hundreds of other people managing to get there on time;)).
    Congrats on the award, Leo!

  3. Hey Leo,
    I just wanted to let you know that your keynote was the best part of Blogworld for me. I took more notes during your keynote than any other session.
    Thank God my “Monkey Mind” was off during the keynote.
    The closing keynote with Mark Cuban was also excellent.

  4. Thank you for everything Leo. Two great talks including the keynote, all of your support leading up to the event and for just being an all around good guy at the show. I can’t tell you how many people came up to me and said just being able to meet you made the show worth the trip to them.
    My apologies for inadvertently getting you in the middle of this mini-controversy.

  5. Leo, I was late for your keynote and caught the final 20 minutes and it was great.The cult of blogging session was interesting and it was great to have that kind of intimate forum, there were only like 55 people in the room, and you met with us afterward.
    Hope to see you again next year.

  6. Leo, I thoroughly enjoyed your keynote. I did a mass communications minor in university, and lately I’ve been wondering the impact of social media on mass media. Your speech had me on the edge of my seat! Hope someone did record it; I’d like to listen again.
    Thanks again!

  7. Leo,
    All I can suggest to you is, if you’re moderating a panel, ask to personally confirm with the panel members, don’t rely on the conference organizers.

  8. I really wish I could have made it over to see you speak, I hope it makes its way onto the web soon! All the things people are saying about Mike make me sad for our blogging culture though.
    Ps. Looking forward to seeing your new WordPress theme in action 🙂

  9. Kevin – I was just a panelist, not moderator.
    As I found out day of, there was no moderator, so I took it upon myself to make something happen.
    You’re right though – the lack of any calls before the show saying “so what are we going to talk about” should have been a red flag.

  10. Was very cool getting to meet you. Tris took a pic of me giving you the award so it’s prominently placed on my blog. Swoon, swoon 😉
    Anyhoo, Rick said many of the sessions were being videoed and I know they videoed the session I did, so I KNOW they did the sessions you did. Am looking forward to seeing them. Cheers!

  11. One of the things that I feel compelled to know is — can you confirm for us if Justine was wearing ‘the slippers’ through the presentation?

  12. I really picked up a lot from your presentation and want to know if anyone did record it….for my friends….and I would like to refresh. I really got lots of good info from the entire event. I would have liked it if it were more defined. Vegas is the convention cap and I was surprised to see such a small intimate convention make the news (Review Journal).

  13. It was a real highlight session, entertaining, informative, inspiring, intellectually serious without being ponderous. I’ve put together a bit of a collage with my own Twitterstream plus the notes I took. Until the full vid is available, the webpronews interview which I’ve included in the post is a useful summary
    I bought Wealth of Networks while in the US and lugged it back to Australia. Not a trivial read 🙂 – but good!

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